Porsche Looks Back At Its 1978 Porsche 911 SC Rally Car [Video]
The Porsche 911 is arguably one of the best performance cars ever built, but in the mid-1960s, Porsche began dabbling in off-road rally racing with its rear-engine sports coupe. The earliest example of Porsche rally racing is the 1965 Rally Paris Dakar, but the 1978 Porsche 911 SC you see above may have played a more pivotal role in the development of future Porsche production cars. RELATED: See photos of the 1971 Porsche 911 S/T Unlike the Paris-Dakar 911, the 1978 Porsche 911 SC “Safari” that ran in the 1978 East African Safari Rally was very similar to the actual production 911. The exception being obvious upgraded suspension, meatier tires and body protection (including that massive front bumper), which were all required to run in the “hardest rally in the ‘70s,” according to Porsche Museum chief of archive Dieter Landenberger.
The car sitting in the Porsche Museum and highlighted in this short video was the actual car that competed in the 1978 East African Safari Rally. Landenberger says that it was leading the race until it suffered rear suspension damage after hitting a rock in a river crossing a few hours before the end of the race. Despite the damage, the car ended up finishing in second place, and it went straight from the race to the Porsche Museum where it still sits today.
Porsche’s rally racing continued into the 1980s with cars like the iconic 953, and the automaker’s rally car development eventually led to the creation of the Porsche 959 from 1986 to 1989. With recent rumors that Porsche is once again looking to create a factory ready off-road rally car, this video will probably only act to stoke the flames of said rumor mill. Be sure to check out the video, which includes some great shots of the 1978 Porsche 911 SC “Safari” as it sits at the museum as well as running footage of the car in the 1978 rally.
RELATED: See photos of the 1987 Porsche 959